Permalink for Comment #1373175821 by TwiztAround

, comment by TwiztAround
TwiztAround I get so frustrated at phish 'fans' who constantly complain about the set lists or about how every song isn't a '95-style epic 45 minute jam. I've never seen a group of people who claim to love a band but yet bitch about them more than complement them. Chances are, most people in this category aren't musicians and have never played at a bar on an open mic, much less in front of 20,000 people 5 nights a week. I challenge any of you to

a) name another band with a list of roughly 500 tunes in their active repertoire
b) physically play a tune as hard as MFMF or mango and play it perfectly every time
c) play any of said 500 tunes with a multi million dollar light display going on in the background less than 10 feet behind you
d) come up with a set list featuring variety and change, EVERY SINGLE NIGHT

As a professional musician, speaking from experience I can tell you that not every note in every show is going to be perfect. It is these less than stellar moments that make the amazing moments possible. If every note was played perfectly every time and every song raged for 40 minutes, as some 'fans' expect, then there wouldn't be any amazing moments at a phish show because there would be no difference between anything. It's the yin and yang of Music. If they didn't play, say, BDTNL (a song that takes a lot of heat from people), then the raging Reba that might follow it wouldn't have the same effect. On 6/23/12 in burgettstown, the first five or six songs of set 2 absolutely raged. It was 45 to 50 minutes of pure phish genius. Once that 7th song started, in this case Bouncing, 'fans' started to whine about it. That BATR was an absolutely perfectly placed song though. If every single tune was a complete smoking rager all the time it would become monotonous and boring. That breather tune perfectly set up the killing Julius> slave that ended the show. Had it just kept on rocking hard throughout the whole set, it would not have had the same effect.

Moral of the story:
These four men are absolutely fantastic musicians, and part of being a fantastic musician is making mistakes. It happens. So what that SPAC's mango song wasn't the tightest? You try playing any one of 500 random songs from memory. Can't we just enjoy our favorite band for what they are? Incredible innovators and improvisers? After 25 shows since 1997 (I know many of you have seen many more than me) which include the Hampton comes alive shows and New Years '10, I finally realized that 'set list chasing' ruins the show. They'll always play things that you weren't expecting and things that 'disappoint' you if you worry about the set list. Instead, focus on each individual show as a personal expression by the band, and enjoy every tune. In Charlotte '12, they played a bunch of classic ragers. Fluffhead, Bowie, Crosseyed> McGrupp, Tweezer> Hood just to name a few. These tunes were all amazing,but what set that show apart for me were the 'breather' tunes. The energy during heavy things (much to the disdain of the whiners) and the horse> silent made that show. It made all the other amazing tunes have those phishy moments that we all know and love. Look at the bigger picture, folks! They're not always going to be perfect, but that imperfection is what makes the other moments possible.

Lets all just be glad that our favorite band is still touring 30 years later with all the original members (sorry daubert/holdsworth you guys don't count). How many other groups can say that? Not many. And let's be honest, who wouldn't rather see phish struggle through mango song than see some other crappy band? I'd take the struggling mango any day of the week.

My fellow phishermen/phisherwomen, please keep this in mind the next time the boys play a sour note. The bottom line is you're still at a phish show. Life could be much much worse.

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